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Full text of "My Country And My People"

THEGHINESEMIND                     87

^icolaus Longobardi, and finding that in the book the heart
s placed on the left and the liver on the right, decided that
/Vesterners have different internal organs from the Chinese,
ind deduced therefrom the important conclusion that since
heir internal organs are different, therefore their religion
nust be also different—this deduction is in itself a perfect
sxample of intuitive reasoning—and hence only Chinese whose
nternal organs are imperfect could possibly become Christian
;onverts. The erudite scholar slyly remarked that if the Jesuits
>nly knew this fact they would not be interested in preaching
Christianity in China and in making converts of half-normal
Deings.

Such assertions are made in perfect seriousness and in fact
are typical of Chinese "intuition" in the realms of natural
science and human physiology. One begins to believe that
there is something after all in the scientific method, for with
this method, though one might be seriously concerned in the
findings that the "primary function of sugar [in the manu-
facture of ice-cream] is to sweeten it,53 yet one could be
saved from the other sort of puerile thinking represented by
the author of the above Notebooks. He could at least have felt
the palpitation of his heart by his own hand, but evidently
the Chinese scholar never descended to manual labour.

Free thus from stupid drudgery in the use of his eyes and
his hands, and having a naive faith in the power of his "in-
tuition," the Chinese scholar goes about explaining the mysteries
of the human body and the universe to his own satisfaction.
The whole science of Chinese medicine and physiology is
based on the Taoistic philosophy of the Five Elements—
Gold, Wood, Water, Fire and Earth. The human body is in
itself a symbol of the universe in its composition. The kidneys
represent the water element, the stomach represents the earth
element, the liver represents the fire element, the lungs repre-
sent the gold element and the heart represents the wood
element. Not that this medicine does not work in practice. A
man suffering from high blood-pressure is considered to have
too warm a "liver-fire," while a man suffering from indigestion
may be referred to as having too much earth, and a laxative
is used to encourage the function of the kidneys by way of